Mariners take silver at CAF Basketball Nationals
By Ryan Melanson,
This year’s CAF National Basketball Championship, held from April 8-11 at 15 Wing Moose Jaw, saw the CFB Halifax Mariners compete as Atlantic Regional champs for the astounding 17th time in a row. They hoped to capture national gold for the first time since 2014, but instead came away with the silver after a hard-fought championship game.
Through the round-robin portion, Halifax won games against Trenton (60-52) and Valcartier (66-59 and 53-46), while falling to Edmonton (57-41). In the playoff portion, they rebounded with another victory verf Valcartier (95-88) and a win against Edmonton (78-55). Unfortunately, one of the team’s top players and Atlantic Region MVP, Capt Nic Leger, went down with a torn ACL during the first playoff game, ending his tournament early. His replacement, AB Joel Goodyear, suffered a quad contusion in the very next game, and was also out for the remainder of the tournament.
Combine the injuries with a hectic schedule that saw the Mariners playing their third game in 24 hours, and the team was up against the wall going into the championship final against the strong team from Trenton. The Mariners fell behind early and came back to take the lead in the third quarter, but failed to capitalize on turnovers, and also suffered another injury to OS Trayton Contois. In the end, the Mariners fell 70-59 to take the silver medal.
Longtime team coach Kevin Miller, a Fitness and Sports Coordinator with PSP Halifax, said despite the disappointment of losing at the hands of the Ontario region for the third year in a row, he felt the team had a lot to be proud of.
“Considering all the adversity we had to face with the schedule, level of competition and major injuries, the silver medal is still an achievement worth celebrating. I couldn’t be more proud of the way the guys played. It was a true team effort.”
MVP awards throughout the tournament went to Lt(N) Cody Brown, AB Joel Goodyear, LS Chris West, and Capt Nic Leger.
The Mariners Men’s Basketball team were also named as the MARLANT Environmental Team of the Year nominee for last year’s season, and have recently been named the overall RCN winner. This means the team will be up for the CAF Team of the Year award at the 30th Annual CAF Sports Award Ceremony to be held this fall.